Hey everyone, it’s Try from My Life in Gaming. Like much of the audience on this site, we already have our preferred ways of playing the same NES, SNES, N64, and Genesis games that Nintendo offers with its paid services. It’s nice having access to Kirby Super Star and other favorite games on my Switch, but honestly, I always go back to playing it on my real SNES instead.
Nintendo offers those classic-styled NES, SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis controllers to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, but why buy them if you aren’t going to play these games on the Switch? Well, many Nintendo Switch games use few enough buttons and/or allow for controls customization, so these authentic-feeling old school wireless controllers can be fantastic for playing a whole slew of regular Switch games! This is especially important because neither Joy-cons nor the Switch Pro Controller offer particularly ideal Dpads, while these controllers do. Not only that, there are just a ton of games on Switch that are throwbacks to classics inspired by NES, SNES, Genesis, and even early 3D games, so it can just be a really comfy feeling when you can play something like Streets of Rage 4 with a 3-button Genesis controller – it totally works!
With this in mind, we’ve produced a new episode in which we show how well the Nintendo Switch Online controllers work with various Nintendo Switch games. We got a bit carried away, and between the two of us, the episode includes well over 100 games (closer to 150, actually), resulting in our longest scripted episode ever. Most of the games shown in the episode work extremely well with at least one Nintendo Switch Online controller, while a few may seem like they would be a perfect fit on the surface, but some sort of issue prevents it from being workable.
While access to Sega and N64 games requires the pricey “Expansion Pack,” you only need to be a subscriber to the very affordable basic service to order any of these controllers (when they’re in stock, anyway). The only catch is that the 6-button Mega Drive controller is exclusive to Japan (as was also so weirdly the case with the Mega Drive Mini), so getting a hold of one is not so easy (but we did both get one, so it’s used in the episode). All of these controllers are excellent replications of the originals, but with rechargeable batteries and a few extra buttons. For instance, the NES controller has tiny R and L buttons on the top (since it’s designed to be a Joy-con, unlike the other controllers), the SNES controller has additional ZR and ZL buttons (making it extremely highly compatible), while the 3-button Genesis controller weirdly enough has a “Mode” button much like the 6-button controller, but this adds ZR functionality, which can be very useful. The additional functionality is also helpful because unfortunately, these controllers are not capable of being remapped at the system level… remapping is often critical for using certain controllers with certain games, but is possible only if the game you’re playing specifically supports remapping.
Of course, I’m sure Bob and the rest of the RetroRGB crew are also super interested in getting these controllers working on other devices – emulators, MiSTer, original hardware – but the focus of this episode is just on games for Nintendo Switch.
Anyway, we hope this can be some good inspiration for people in discovering games that are a lot of fun to play with these controllers! I think you’ll see that they’re a lot more useful and versatile than you might have previously believed!